Community Land audit to promote title ownership

Community Land audit to promote title ownership

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Hello Milton! Welcome to the network and thanks for posting! Community land audits to promote title ownership is a tantalizing, valuable topic. Is there a particular problem you are experiencing that you are trying to solve, a lesson you’d like to share, or a question you’d like to ask members of this network?

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Land in many part of rural communities are based on inheritance from generation to the next without any legal title of ownership.This aspect had prevented most rural land owners to present such land as collateral to access financial loans from banking institutions. Many of the claimed community land owners don’t know the total parcel of land he/she possessed. They rely on natural landscape features which may disappear with time because of anthropological and natural events.This had seriously lead to communities,families,sections,towns boundaries conflicts. During one of our field monitoring on community land rights,we met two communities in Pujehun District (Sierra Leone) in Garines Peri chiefdom with boundary conflict. We were try to garner information/inventory from both parties to determine their boundaries markers. Their stories were all base on farming histories and settlement dates on successive past leadership period. We report the matter to the paramount chief but one part did not trust the paramount chief judgement. Therefore we can start to do community land audit now it would prevent further future conflict.

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By way of email, Ben Cousins from University of the Western Cape shared this related article which he thinks would be of interest to this discussion. Do take a look and let us know what you think!

cc: @rachaelknight

Hi Tobias,

I read through and find it interesting. I think we should share and have it up for discussions. I will do that.

David

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Great! I look forward to seeing your reactions to the article here, and I’m sure @Milokay will be interested to talk about it as well. What can Kenya and Sierra Leone learn from the South Africa example?

OK, here you go @tobiaseigen. The article linked above, Why title deeds aren’t the solution to South Africa’s land tenure problem, discusses an interesting finding from a study conducted in South Africa.

The conventional view is that insecurity of land tenure results from the lack of a registered title deed which records the property rights of occupants of land or housing. Across Africa, many governments and international development agencies are promoting large-scale land titling as the solution.

In the South African context, some commentators suggest that a key legacy of the apartheid past is the continued tenure insecurity of the third of the population who live in “communal areas”, under unelected chiefs or of traditional councils. The remedy, they suggest, is simple: extend the system of title deeds to all South Africans.

A book which disputes this view is Untitled. Securing land tenure in urban and rural South Africa. The book contains case studies of a wide range of land tenure systems found in different parts of the country. These include informal settlements, inner city buildings in Johannesburg, “deep rural” communal systems, land reform projects, and examples of systems of freehold rights held by black South Africans since the 19th century.

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Hi Tobias, The community land audit is important to safeguard land property/tenure rights. The obsolete ways in which boundaries are determined is fueling conflicts because generations do exist without passing on concrete information on land demarcations. The recent Paramount Chiefs Conference held by organization Green scenery to aid propagate the recent National Policy on Land and Voluntary Guidelines. To forestall this the Paramount Chiefs requested that they need to redo a chiefdom digital maps and communities land mapping use planning.

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